This Triple Citrus Pound Cake was an unplanned post. In many ways, it was simply the means to an end.
In my cooking and baking life, I try to waste as little food as possible. I’m always the one monitoring the contents of our refrigerator, making sure any fresh produce or leftover this or leftover that gets transformed quickly into something unexpected and delicious. It’s kind of like my own personal chopped challenge.
Sometimes I’m really surprised at what I can come up with. So much so, that my family has to suffer through the my exclamations of pride at the dinner table. “Can you believe this was just a bunch of leftovers?” “Seriously, guys, how good is this?” “I used up all of the x and y and z in this meal. Amazing, right?”
And really, it’s less about any chopped challenge prowess and more about the fact that I have avoided the feeling of waste, that feeling I get when I’m throwing away what was perfectly good food, simply because we ignored the fact that it existed.
This whole waste not message is actually an unnecessarily big lead up to the very small fact that I had some leftover yolks. Yeah that’s it. I had some yolks, folks.
What was the cause of the leftover yolks? It was the Italian Cream Cake I made for Easter. That recipe uses 6 egg whites and 2 yolks. Do the math. I had 4 yolks without a home.
Of course, those of you who are avid readers of this blog know what I do with leftover yolks. Yep, lemon curd. And, yes, if, for some reason, I do not have lemons or other citrus on hand to make curd, I will go out and buy some so that I can use up the yolks.
In this case, my recipe for curd only uses 3 yolks, but I tinkered with it and was able to use all 4. (Don’t bother tinkering. Use the 3 and throw the other yolk into some scrambled eggs or something.)
Now here’s the issue…I’ve already got a lemon curd recipe on the blog. It’s so easy. Once you make it, you’ll be surprised how close you are to having such homemade deliciousness at the ready…whenever you have leftover yolks.
I’ve also shared ways to use that luscious lemon curd like in this zucchini cake or this easy dip. But I wanted to leverage the fact that I had it, yet again, sitting in my fridge, for another post. I mean, otherwise, we would just figure out how to use it and you’d never be the wiser.
So, I had an idea for a post (Strawberry Lemon Pound Cake Trifles) that would use that lemon curd as one of the ingredients. But…I needed pound cake. Now I did think, for a minute or two, that I would simply go out and buy a pound cake so that I could just move on with my recipe.
And then, I knew, that if I did that, I would likely end up with a pound cake that had a laundry list of ingredients in it that I didn’t want. Alternatively, I could drive down to Whole Foods and pick up one that didn’t have that long list of ingredients.
Or, I could just sit down and develop a recipe for one. Hmmm, I thought, lemon? I looked in my fruit drawer…I had lemons, limes and oranges. I decided to skip the purchased cake and sat down to write a recipe for a Triple Citrus Pound Cake.
I thought, why not? It’s another post and I’ve wanted to post a pound cake for awhile now. And triple citrus? That sounded fun…and springy…and refreshing…well, relative to other pound cakes anyway.
I also thought that the triple citrus flavor would be a nice foundation for the recipe I was thinking of to use up the lemon curd. Still with me? Sure you are. We’re just gonna make some pound cake.
Okay, so three citrus flavors. You can balance them in whatever way suits you. I chose to let the orange be the most prominent, then the lemon, then the lime. And actually, that’s kind of how it worked out with the fruits I had anyway.
I simply zested then juiced one of each fruit and kind of went with the ratio I ended up with. I had the most zest from the orange, and I suppose the lemon and lime were kind of equal, but I decided to use less lime than what I had.
Ditto with the juices, I had the most orange juice, then lemon, then lime. Of course, it just so happened that it worked out that way based on the size fruits I had. My oranges weren’t giant, though I did have a monster lemon that was huge and would have been more productive in zest and juice than the orange had I decided to use it.
Bottom line, just get to the total amount of zest and juice my recipe calls for in whatever way makes you happy. You’ll probably use most of the zest, but you will have some juice left over.
In the recipe notes, I mention that you could use the left over juice to make a delicious icing or glaze for the cake. Just whisk up some of one or a mixture of the juices with some confectioner’s sugar. You can make a thin glaze with more juice or a thicker icing with less juice. You could add a splash of vanilla or a pinch of salt. You could even throw some zest in there if you like a stronger citrus flavor. It’ll be fab. But, because I had other plans for my cake, I didn’t ice it.
And really, it doesn’t need any extras. It’s a nice, moist, dense pound cake. It’s full of citrusy flavors. Sour cream adds some extra moisture and richness. The eggs give it a rich buttery color that works well as a beautiful background to the flecks of zest that you can see throughout.
The cake bakes up high and mighty in a 9×5″ loaf pan. Take that as a cue not to use a smaller pan. Best not to risk over flowing. Measure your pan. If you only have a smaller loaf pan, take care not to over fill it and bake the rest of the batter off in a small baking pan or in a muffin tin.
Triple Citrus Pound Cake. It was the means to an end that has yet to be shared. In an upcoming post, you’ll see that the end definitely justified the means. #teaser
(Update 5-7-21…I actually used this pound cake for TWO other recipe ideas…one for the Strawberry Lemon Pound Cake Trifles I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and another great idea for leftover pound cake, Raspberry White Chocolate Pound Cake Biscotti )
But you don’t need to worry about the end at this point. Maybe you don’t have 4 extra yolks staring you down and challenging you to use them. You’ll only have them if you make the Italian Cream Cake or some other recipe that calls for a bunch of egg whites.
It’s quite possible, though, that you’ll see the future post and say, hey, I need to make some lemon curd. Then you’ll have leftover whites.
Hmmm, I have an idea for those :)
Triple Citrus Pound Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream I used light
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed juice orange, lemon and lime, see notes
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons zest orange, lemon and lime, see notes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon buttery sweet dough flavor optional
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together sour cream, juices, zests and extract/flavorings.
With an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined after each addition.
Alternate adding flour and sour cream mixtures beginning and ending with flour (1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour) beating on low until just combined after each addition.
After you add the last bit of flour, insure the mixture is thoroughly combined, then pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a long toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. You can also use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. Temperature should read about 205 degrees.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Serve plain, or dust with powdered sugar. See notes if you'd like to make an icing to drizzle on top.
*Pound cake tastes better the next day. After cooling, just wrap in foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
*Be sure to use the right sized pan. You'll need the full 9 X 5 to fit all of the batter.
*You can vary the amount of each zest and juice you use as long as you still end up with the same total amount. For the zest, I used 1 Tablespoon orange, 1 teaspoon of lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of lime. For the juice, I used 2 Tablespoons of orange, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon and 1/2 Tablespoon of lime. (1 Tablespoon= 3 teaspoons. 1/2 Tablespoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons)
*You can use your leftover juice (one or combined) to make a quick glaze or icing for your cake. Just take 1 cup of confectioner's sugar and add a little bit of juice at a time until you get your desired consistency. You can also add some leftover zest, if you have some for an even stronger flavor. Drizzle over cooled cake.
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